by Alexander Fury .

The Walk Through at Nathan Jenden

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Nathan Jenden's collection was an odd, odd mix. Titled 'I WANT CANDY', it was nevertheless no bubblegum ode to pretty-pretty. In fact, it was difficult to discern exactly what the show was about: opening with a vivid satsuma-orange draped crepe dress, then whizzing through bustled suit jackets, flounced derriere-groping mermaid skirts and ombre shades of lurex in the first three outfits alone. There were touches of the Indian Maharini in hot-pink and lime figured guipure lace and fussy jewel-encrusted jackets: albeit Maharini via Gianfranco Ferre, or even Jean-Louis Scherrer circa 1987. Eighties pop couture seemed a major reference point, and a blast of Wham! (which did crack a smile on my face) heralded the arrival of eveningwear. Perhaps Jenden has been examining the archives of Patrick Kelly, or Christian Lacroix's period at Jean Patou, dressing eighties nouveaux riches in the fashion equivalent of a Jeff Koons while the economy teetered on the brink of collapse. How little times have changed. That said, Lacroix never threw up outfits like Jenden's organza rosette dress (resembling nothing else than flattended cocktail umbrellas), or another number apparently encrusted with boiled sweets. Of his postmodern follies at Patou, Lacroix stated 'everyone had forgotten Patou, so I had to shout for attention'. With his patron (saint) Diane von Furstenberg front row and the eyes of fashion's elite firmly focussed, I'm not sure what Jenden's reasoning was.